Cell-mediated immunity (CMI) is critical for the prevention and control of varicella-zoster virus (VZV)-related disease. To assess CMI to VZV, a varicella skin test and interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay were both performed in healthy volunteers, and the results were compared. A total of 151 subjects were examined: 16 aged 20-29 years, 26 aged 30-39 years, 18 aged 40-49 years, 73 aged 50-59 years, and 18 aged 60-69 years. All were seropositive by a glycoprotein antigen- based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (gpELISA). Skin test reactivity was significantly correlated with the ELISPOT count, and both decreased with increasing age, indicating an age-dependent decline in CMI to VZV. In contrast, the antibody titer obtained by the gpELISA did not correlate with skin test reactivity. The results suggest that the skin test and ELISPOT assay are both reliable for assessing CMI to VZV and can easily be applied to screen individuals susceptible to the development of herpes zoster.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes